by Robert Allison, 13th of July 2019

If you are wondering what to do in Lugano, you are in the right place! Known as the Mediterranean Soul of Switzerland, Lugano is a small corner of paradise surrounded by spectacular lakes, mountains and natural parks. There are lots of attractions, and most of them are easy to reach by car or public transport! So, whether you are staying in a beautiful hotel or a cute campsite on the lake shores, get yourself ready for the 10 best Things to Do in Lugano:

1. Experience a breathtaking paragliding flight

Monte Tamaro © S. Genazzini / FlyTicino.ch

Paragliding is without a doubts one of the best things you can experience in Lugano. Very stable weather conditions makes the mountains surrounding Lugano among the best in the world for paragliding! Moreover the sight from 1400 meters high is simply breathtaking. We also recommend paragliding with the expert tandem pilots of FlyTicino, currently ranked as the #1 attraction of Lugano both on TripAdvisor & DiscoverTicino.

Google Maps: Paragliding in Lugano

2. Visit che colorful village of Gandria

Gandria

Gandria © B. Guidees / Flickr

Gandria is a small traditional village next to Lugano, which has kept all the charm of the past centuries. Once a fishing village, Gandria is an oasis of tranquility with picturesque alleys and narrow stairways. Right in the centre of Gandria, we also recommend visiting the beautiful workshop Ceramiche D’arte where artifacts that follow the ancient tradition of ceramics are still manufactured by hand.

Google Maps: Gandria

3. Explore the fascinating Gole della Breggia

Gole della Breggia © DiscoverTicino / discoverticino.ch

The park of Gole della Breggia is a truly fascinating place. This green oasis is crossed by the Breggia river, which through its erosive activity has brought to light rocks shaped on the bottom of the Tethys ocean, from the Jurassic to the Cretaceous, with a history of more than 100 million years. Inside this park you will feel like taking a time machine. The park is about 30 minutes drive from Lugano.

Google Maps: Gole della Breggia

4. Enjoy countless adventures at Monte Tamaro

Bob coaster © Monte Tamaro / Tamaro.ch

If you are looking for some fun and adrenaline, just 20 minutes by car or train from Lugano you can reach Monte Tamaro! A cable car will take you to its summit, where you can enjoy many outdoor activities like a very long zip line, tandem paragliding flights (online booking necessary), an exciting coaster bob descent, and much more! Monte Tamaro is open from April until the end of October.

Google Maps: Monte Tamaro

5. Experience the romantic sunset of Monte Brè

Sunset on Lugano from Monte Bre

Monte Brè © Franz R. / Flickr

Monte Brè can be reached by a small funicular that leaves near the center of Lugano (we recommend getting there by bus). Once on the summit of Monte Brè, you can access the large balcony of a restaurant, from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view over the entire region of Lugano, the imposing Monte Rosa and the Swiss Alps. For sport lovers, Monte Brè is also a perfect starting point to undertake wonderful hiking trails.

Google Maps: Monte Brè Funicular

6. Walk along the ancient Olive Trail

Olive Trail © Alessandro Rabaglio / Lugano.ch

The Olive Trail is certainly one of the most beautiful things to do in Lugano. This route crosses an area characterized by the presence of many beautiful olive trees, some of which are very ancient. The walk winds between Castagnola and Gandria and offers a splendid view of Lugano Lake. The trail is enriched by informative tables bearing information on the history, botany and cultivation of the olive tree.

Google Maps: Olive Trail

7. Swim and relax at Splash & Spa

Splash & Spa © TicinoTurismo / Ticino.ch

If you are wondering what to do in Lugano after a day full of outdoor activities, we definitely recommend you to enjoy some well-deserved rest at the Splash & Spa. In this big wellness center you will find many things to do, dedicated to the whole family. There are slides of all kinds, heated swimming pools, saunas and Turkish baths. The Splash & Spa is located next to the Monte Tamaro cable car and is open every day until 10pm.

Google Maps: Splash & Spa

8. If you love shopping go to Fox Town

Fox Town © Raymund / Angsarap.net

If you love shopping or if you’re simply wondering what to do in Lugano on a rainy day, Fox Town is the right place for you. Just 25 minutes by car or by train from Lugano, this huge Factory Outlet offers big discounts on more than 250 well-known brands, such as clothing, sporting goods, home appliances and high-end accessories. Finally a big plus is that FoxTown is open 7 days a week, from 11am to 7pm.

Google Maps: Fox Town

9. Admire Lugano from the top of Monte Generoso

Monte Generoso

Monte Generoso © Sergio Alegre / Flickr

Monte Generoso is hands down one of the most panoramic mountains overlooking Lugano. From its 1704 meters of height you will be blessed with an enchanting view that sweeps from Lugano Lake to the famous Monte Rosa. You can reach the top of the Monte Generoso through beautiful hiking trails that wind through the forest, or through the picturesque rack railway that departs from Capolago once per hour.

Google Maps: Monte Generoso Funicular

10. Relax at the beautiful Parco Ciani

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Parco Ciani © Taver / Flickr

Parco Ciani is regarded as one of the most beautiful parks in Switzerland. It used to be the private villa of a noble-family, until the city of Lugano bought it 1912 and made it into a public area. Since then it has become the refuge of all those seeking a moment of relaxation right in the center of the city. It is characterized by ancient trees, lots of flowers, elegant fountains and of course a wonderful view of Lugano Lake.

Google Maps: Parco Ciani